We interviewed Brazilians who live in Spain and work with tourism to better understand the situation in the country after the coronavirus 

THE Spain was one of the countries most affected by the new coronavirus pandemic. In early March, the government decreed strict confinement for more than two months. Now, with the cases under control, the country is slowly starting to return to normal life, albeit with restrictions and care.

This is also the case with tourism, which takes the first steps towards a gradual restart. The country has opened its borders with other European countries, which belong to the Schengen area, on the 21st of June. Now, since July 1st, some tourists from other countries can also enter the country. Brazilian citizens, however, due to the uncontrolled situation of the disease in the country, still cannot visit Spain. 

Read too " Os 100 lugares mais lindos para viajar no Brasil

To better understand the current situation in Spain, more specifically in Madrid, and expectations for the future, we interviewed Andréa Lima, CEO of travel agency Discover Madrid, which specializes in receiving Brazilian tourists in the country. 

Coronavirus in Spain: Brazilian who lives in Madrid talks about the current situation in the country

Brazilians living in Spain talk about the resumption of tourism in the country

Brazilians living in Spain talk about the resumption of tourism in the country. Photo: Unsplash

Better Travel Guide – Can you say how the current situation in Madrid is in the eyes of a resident? Was there effective action and concern from the local government?

A: Here in Madrid we were the first to suffer from the Covid crisis. After the decree of the state of emergency in Italy, Spain was the second country most affected by the pandemic. The government's response was swift and severe.

The first case officially appeared on 02/26 and on 03/09 schools, university, shows and sporting events had already been suspended. A state of alarm was decreed, where the government took command of all provinces, and this was only suspended on 06/21. We were severely confined for 45 days. The other 45 days were the de-escalation that happened gradually. The action was effective and necessary.

Better Travel Guide – Did the population, in general, respect the rules of social distancing? How has your personal life been these past two months?

A: The population followed the rules, and those who did not respect, according to disobedience, were fined with fines ranging from 600 euros to 600 thousand depending on the severity. They were generally responsible. 

 Better Travel Guide – How is this return to normality taking place?

A: On the 1st of July, the borders open to countries that are not part of the European Union, in principle there will be 15 accepted countries, the USA, Russia and Brazil are outside the list of accepted countries. The block list is not permanent, it is only as long as the countries are in an uncontrolled epidemiological situation.

Better Travel Guide – How is the reopening of tourism in the country going at this first moment?

A:. At the moment, the movement we see on the streets is just residents. I walk downtown, missing that crowd, that rush of tourists dragging their suitcases on the main thoroughfares. Hotels for example, many remain closed. There are few that are open.

Better Travel Guide – How are international flights arriving in Madrid? Are there many restrictions and security measures you can tell us about? 

A: Passengers who disembark in Barjas, go through 3 controls: temperature, a visual control, filling out a form, which indicates where the passenger will stay, if he has already had COVID-19. The Community of Madrid has made a request to the Ministry of Interior requesting that passengers have a PCR (an exam dated 2 days before the trip, which ensures that the passenger is not infected). 

Better Travel Guide – Madrid has launched packages health insurance for tourists and residents? If yes, what are your expectations regarding this?

A: Madrid has health coverage for residents, free of charge. Some insurers in Spain have already included COVID-19 in their travel insurance policy. 

Better Travel Guide – Which places and attractions in Madrid are agencies prioritizing at the moment? Example: outdoor attractions, alternative routes, less touristy cities, less crowded places, etc.

A: For the time being, closed venues are operating at 60 %, such as museums, theater and cinemas and hotels. From 05/07 it will change to 75%. The parks and zoo are in the same situation, operating at 60% until 05/07 and then will change to 75%. I believe that during the month of July we will notice a little more European tourism, as Spain is, together with Portugal, the main summer tourist destination.

Better Travel Guide – Could you say what the main precautions are being taken in relation to hotels, restaurants and visits to attractions?

A: There is pretty intense control everywhere in the city centre. Every store, hotel, restaurant that enters must wear a mask and use the gel alcohol that is at the doors. The parks, every time the visitor goes up to an attraction, they clean it with alcohol and there is social distancing. Information posts have a protective window.

Better Travel Guide – Why should a Brazilian tourist include Madrid as a destination once everything is normalized?

A: Madrid is a temporary destination, there are activities for any period of the year, with a great gastronomic and cultural offer. It is the third world destination for fairs and congresses, as well as being one of the safest European capitals. Major insurers already have travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage.

Better Travel Guide – What can Brazilian tourists who want to visit Madrid after the pandemic expect? 

A: Prevention measures are quite exhaustive here. For companies in the sector, a series of protocols was created that we must have, and there is intense inspection to ensure that the regulations are being complied with. Until the vaccine comes out, these protocols will follow. The epidemiological situation here is under control.

Better Travel Guide – How is the agency preparing to receive the tourist once the situation is under control? Are there plans to provide individual safety items such as masks, hand sanitizer and others?

A: We do. The use of gel alcohol in the hands, protective showcase inside cars, reinforced cleaning of vehicles, among others. 

Better Travel Guide – Have you been receiving requests from tourists for travel later this year or in 2021? If so, could you tell us what are the most common questions at this first moment? 

A: I have it for January. Many ask me if I have information if the Brazilian will be able to enter by then. That's the question everyone wants to know. I get a lot of direct messages on Instagram asking whether or not to postpone the trip.

Read too:

» Man dresses up as a dinosaur to escape quarantine in Spain
» What to do in Madrid: 16 amazing tourist attractions
» Discover the main museums in Madrid
» To celebrate reopening, theater in Spain holds concert for 2,000 plants

Dica extra para reservar hotéis

Para encontrar inúmeras opções de acomodação e reservar hotéis e pousadas com os melhores preços, utilizamos o Booking.com - disponível em milhares de destinos.

Passagens aéreas mais baratas

Para economizar com voos, consultamos primeiro as passagens aéreas na MaxMilhas, - quase sempre encontramos os melhores preços tanto no Brasil quanto no exterior. As passagens podem ser emitidas mesmo para quem não tem milhas aéreas.

Outras dicas úteis

Encontre informações úteis sobre os best destinations do mundo, com guias de viagens especializados sobre diferentes places to visit in Brazil e no exterior. São milhares de travel tips com sugestões de onde ir na sua viagem, recomendação de hotels, notícias atualizadas e muito mais.

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